It’s 6.10 am on Sunday 14th September 2014 and I open my back door to let the cat out. It's a beautiful, calm, warm morning, the eastern horizon glowing pale peach, fading to warm grey. It’s going to be a stunning sunrise - or it ought to be.…
But, from the direction of the sunrise, a surprisingly even set of parallel aeroplane trails has been deposited and is fanning westward, backwards over my head, already beginning to congeal and veil the pale blue pre-dawn sky. I can even see a few silvery stars, still twinkling bravely through the artificial gloom.
If I were a grandmother, or a mother, or a father - I’m none of those but I am a loving aunt - I’d be asking these questions - hell, I AM asking these questions:
Who does this?
Why do they do it?
Is it safe?
Who pays for it?
Is it good for our children’s health? Or ours? How do they know? How can I find out?
Why are they allowed to block out our blue sky and sunshine, day after day after day, and why would they want to?
Why does it happen on some days and not on others?
Why are there days when it’s there in the morning, then stops?
Why are there some days when I can watch the aeroplanes laying down a criss-cross grid from morning ’til night and even after dark?
Why are there nights when I can hear the drone of the aeroplanes overhead, hour upon hour, in the small hours?
Why is there no discussion about it in the newspapers and on TV?
You’d almost believe that it’s a taboo subject, wouldn't you?(!)
Even if these were ordinary aeroplane condensation trails I’d ask: is this pollution safe? What’s it doing to our atmosphere? How is it affecting the birds, the insects, the plants, us?
After all, do you remember how long and how loudly all the hoo-ha about lead in paint and petrol raged? All the statistics we had to swallow and digest, about its effects upon human health and the environment, and the eventual changes made in the composition of fuel and paint?
Now there's all this hoo-ha about man-made emissions and their alleged causative effect on global warming: how do I know that this aerial pollution isn’t the very thing that’s doing it, if no-one is telling me it isn't and providing good scientific evidence that it isn't?
Why no media fuss? Why no politicians using this issue to raise their profile and enhance their reputation?
Surely I’m not the only ordinary person asking these questions?
But they’re not ordinary condensation trails, are they?
Many times I have stood and watched as two aeroplanes have moved across the blue sky, one leaving the thick, white streak which remains for hours afterwards, joining its fellows to create the now-familiar Milk of Magnesia white-out. The second aircraft’s trail has disappeared, often after a few seconds but is always gone in well under minute.
I have watched this. I have taken pictures of this. But I don’t know what to do with them, because no-one who could help wants to know.
Am I the only one who wonders? Am I the only one who worries?
I didn’t vote for this. No-one asked me if it was OK. But one thing I can’t help thinking:
If it were good news, they’d be making sure the media told us, loudly and often.
Or maybe, if it were good for us, they wouldn’t be doing it anyway......